Israel indicts two soldiers over Gaza war conduct
Israel's military on Thursday indicted two of its soldiers for endangering the life of a Palestinian boy during Israel's three-week offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip more than a year ago, Reuters reported.
A statement issued by the military said the soldiers faced charges for instructing the boy to open several bags suspected to be booby trapped while searching a building in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza.
The bags turned out to be harmless.
An Israeli military official said the soldiers could face up to three years in jail.
The military said it opened the investigation after the incident was brought to its attention by the United Nations, but emphasised it was "completely unrelated" to a report issued by U.N. investigator Richard Goldstone.
Israel has said it opened 36 criminal investigations into complaints of improper conduct by its troops during the fighting with Hamas gunmen, much of which occurred in residential areas.
Last month a senior Israeli field officer in the Gaza war was reprimanded over artillery shelling in a heavily populated area that hit a United Nations compound during the fighting.
Israel, which accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields, has boycotted Goldstone's report, issued in September, as unbalanced.
Some 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, and 13 Israelis were killed in the offensive Israel launched in December 2008 with the aim of ending cross-border rocket fire.